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23 December 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 52

Media Coverage

  • Including the following stories and more: No justice, no health; Cuba certified first to end parent-to-child transmission of HIV; HIV Research shift shows no good deed goes unpunished

    December 23, 2015
    General
    Science Speaks
  • A new HPV vaccination programme for men who have sex with men will be introduced in Wales, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford announced today... The new programme will be targeted at men aged 16 to 45 who... attend specialist sexual health clinics. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has also recommended the vaccine is offered to other people who are considered at risk, including MSM over 45, sex workers and HIV-positive men and women.

    December 21, 2015
    General
    Wired-Gov
  • Nurx is an app founded by Hans Gangeskar and Edvard Engesaeth which offers home birth control pill delivery... Nurx hopes to start delivering Truvada in the first quarter of 2016 and according to the Daily Dot it will also start offering emergency contraception (Plan B) around the same time, as well as an "adherence" feature that reminds users when to take their meds and to make sure to combine them with other safe sex practices, such as condoms.

    December 21, 2015
    General, Treatment
    Digital Health Age
  • Violence against gay Nigerians has increased significantly, according to the country’s National Human Rights Commission... But victims often do not report attacks for fear of being outed. Even men infected with HIV are often reluctant to seek treatment at hospitals, fearing that the authorities will be called, said Stella Iwuagwu, executive director of the Center for the Right to Health, an HIV patient and rights group based in Lagos.

    December 21, 2015
    General
    New York Times
  • Individuals who develop resistance to the components of Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) after contracting HIV shortly before or while taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) do not maintain such resistance for long, aidsmap reports.

    December 21, 2015
    AIDSmeds
  • HIV infection is the leading risk factor for stroke in young African adults, a new study by the University of Liverpool's Institute of Infection and Global Health has found. The incidence of stroke is on the increase across most of sub-Saharan Africa. In countries like Malawi, a substantial proportion of stroke patients are young adults, and have a low prevalence of established risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and smoking.

    December 19, 2015
    General
    Science Daily
  • Politicians and advocates have called on the Victorian Government to fund and expand the clinical trial of the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis. On World AIDS Day earlier this month, a similar trial in NSW was expanded to make PrEP available to 3700 people, while the Victorian trial... is currently operating for only 115 people. Shadow Health Minister Mary Wooldridge... has called on the government to step up and expand the trial to include over 2000 Victorians.

    December 18, 2015
    Star Observer
  • The majority of men in Zimbabwe, raised in a society that panders to the dictates of patriarchal notions of male superiority, view involvement in maternal health as "sissy". Women and gender rights activist, Madeleine Kaseke said pregnancy and childbirth are often regarded as foreign territory by men... Nemamwa Clinic, close to Great Zimbabwe monuments in Masvingo, has demonstrated the positive impact male involvement can have on maternal health, as this has significantly complemented the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.

    December 18, 2015
    General
    NewsDay Zimbabwe
  • The superior safety of the tenofovir analogue tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF) over tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) would justify a price premium of at most $1,010 per patient per year, according to an analysis published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases... However, a more restrictive amount will apply once generic TDF becomes available.

    December 18, 2015
    Aidsmap
  • Louisiana is near the top of the list in the nation when it comes to a staggering statistic: the number of new cases of HIV/AIDS. Christus St. Patrick Hospital infectious disease physician, Dr. Timothy Haman, told KPLC the state is consistently reporting new cases, with two major cities consistently ranking second and third nationwide with new infections. "We do have a lot of new cases in the state," said Dr. Haman. "Unfortunately, Baton Rouge and New Orleans are two of the biggest drivers for that."

    December 18, 2015
    General
    The Daily Advertiser
  • Pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline said its majority-owned HIV business would buy drugs at different stages of development from US rival Bristol-Myers Squibb for an initial $350 million. GSK said the acquisitions would provide ViiV Healthcare, its HIV unit in which Pfizer and Shionogi are junior partners, with new opportunities for growth. The British company is reviving its position in HIV treatment as part of its strategy to return to earnings growth in 2016.

    December 18, 2015
    General
    Reuters
  • Repeated exposure to semen may lead some sex workers to become naturally resistant to HIV infection. Publishing in Mucosal Immunology, researchers analyzed a group of HIV-negative female sex workers in San Juan, Puerto Rico, who had been in the trade for at least three years, and compared them with a group of women in the area who reported having low exposure to semen... The researchers identified three means by which they believe the group of sex workers has evaded HIV.

    December 17, 2015
    General
    POZ
  • As 2015 draws to a close,... it is imperative that those of us working on specific disease investments keep our eyes on the final prize — that of integrating disease and wellness services to create a more responsive health system in every country... The necessity for such integrated service delivery is becoming particularly acute as we see a worldwide surge of non-communicable diseases, even as our fight continues against infectious diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.

    December 17, 2015
    Health Affairs Blog
  • Uganda is suffering a shortage of imported drugs to treat HIV victims due to a weak currency and insufficient foreign exchange... Some activists said they were concerned the government was spending too much on measures designed to help them win presidential and parliamentary elections in February rather than on medicines. Officials denied the charge.

    December 16, 2015
    Reuters
  • The spending deal Congress reached Tuesday night includes an unprecedented increase in funding for Alzheimer’s research: $350 million in fiscal 2016. If approved by the White House, it will increase government spending on the disease by over 50 percent. Advocates have long pushed for significant increases in Alzheimer’s spending, calling it a coming crisis and saying it should be funded at the same level as cancer, HIV/AIDS and heart disease research...

    December 16, 2015
    General
    Washington Post
  • The Kaiser Family Foundation has launched a new interactive map and dashboard that offers the latest national and state-specific data on women’s health in the United States.... Clicking on a state takes users to state-specific data on women’s health, including insurance and Medicaid coverage, poverty, mental health, HIV, cancer, pregnancy, abortions and use of preventive services. Many indicators provide health care information for women of different racial and ethnic groups.

    December 15, 2015
    General
    Kaiser Health News
  • Even as [HIV] testing has become more accessible in Africa, it has remained slow... The problem isn’t just the time needed for the actual tests, but also the unpredictable ways samples travel from clinics to labs... Mozambique brought in logistics expert Jérémie Gallien, professor at the London Business School... Gallien consulted on retail logistics, including for the fast-fashion chain Zara and an [unnamed] dominant online seller... and found common ground between selling sweaters and saving lives.

    December 14, 2015
    General
    Fortune
  • The latest report by Funders Concerned About AIDS [FCAA]... [reveals] that global private funding for HIV totaled US$ 618 million, an 8 percent increase from 2013,... driven by significant increases from the... Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gilead Sciences. This... is reflective of the ongoing overall concentration of HIV/AIDS philanthropic funding...: the top 20 funders accounted for 81 percent of all funding in 2014. Overall, funding has been holding relatively steady around the $600-650 million mark for the past eight years.

    December 13, 2015
    General
    Philanthropy News Digest
  • Digital health tools are helping to make elimination of mother-to-child transmission (eMTCT) not just possible but also likely. Last week’s World AIDS Day marked a critical moment to explore how digital health can build essential connections among pregnant women, health facilities, health providers and stewards of national health systems to ensure no newborns fall through the cracks.

    December 11, 2015
    General
    devex
  • Don C. Des Jarlais,... Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, and colleagues,...conducted a mail and telephone survey of syringe service programs (SSPs) in the US in 2013....[They wrote]: "The modest number of rural and suburban SSPs participating in this survey raise concerns that many rural and suburban areas might not have access to SSPs....Providing all populations of PWID...with access to sterile injection equipment as well as comprehensive treatment and prevention services...could help prevent worsening of these epidemics."

    December 11, 2015
    General
    Healio

Published Research

  • Resistance to emtricitabine plus tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (FTC/TDF) or TDF alone used as preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been detected in individuals who initiated PrEP during unrecognized acute HIV infection and, rarely, in PrEP breakthrough infections. PrEP-selected resistance could alter future treatment options, and therefore we sought to determine how long resistance persisted after PrEP cessation.

    January 2, 2016
    AIDS
  • New evidence indicates a high degree of geographic overlap between the highest-prevalence neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)... and malaria and HIV, exhibiting a high degree of co-infection... Together these results... present new opportunities to design innovative public health interventions and strategies for these 'big three' diseases. This analysis describes the current findings... and what research is still needed.

    January 1, 2016
    General
    Intl J Infect Diseases
  • Antibodies that neutralize HIV could add to the therapeutic arsenal to prevent and treat disease. Lynch et al. have now tested one such antibody—VRC01—in HIV-infected individuals. Although little difference was observed in viral reservoir in individuals on antiretroviral therapy, plasma viremia was reduced in untreated subjects with a single infusion of VRC01, preferentially suppressing neutralization-sensitive strains. Passive immunization with neutralizing antibodies could therefore aid in viral suppression in HIV-infected individuals.

    December 23, 2015
    Science Translational Medicine
  • Microbicides were conceptualized as a product that could give women increased agency over HIV prevention. However, gender-related norms and inequalities that place women and girls at risk of acquiring HIV are also likely to affect their ability to use microbicides. Understanding how gendered norms and inequalities may pose obstacles to women’s microbicide use is important to inform product design, microbicide trial implementation and eventually microbicide and other antiretroviral-based prevention programmes.

    December 21, 2015
    Journal of the International AIDS Society
  • In this issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Walensky et al provide important additional context for the advent of long-acting injectable preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Although the medication costs after approval of these agents are unknown, the authors present a well-considered modeling exercise,... demonstrating potential advantages and costs, as well as cost-effectiveness thresholds for the use of long-acting injectable PrEP for young South African women.

    December 17, 2015
    J Infect Dis
  • South Africa’s civil registration system has achieved a high level of completeness in the recording of mortality. However, the fraction of deaths recorded by health centres is low and information from patient records is insufficient by itself to evaluate levels and predictors of ART patient mortality. Previously documented improvements in ART mortality over time may be biased if based only on data from patient records.

    December 16, 2015
    J Intl AIDS Society
  • Treatment-experienced patients with HIV infection starting a new optimized regimen can safely omit NRTIs without compromising virologic efficacy. Omitting NRTIs will reduce pill burden, cost, and toxicity in this patient population.

    December 15, 2015
    Ann Intern Med
  • The recent World Report by Ann Danaiya Usher (Nov 7, p 1809) shows some misunderstanding about the fundamental aspects of the Global Financing Facility (GFF) for every woman and every child... As GFF partners, we would like to clarify how the GFF is acting to help low-income and middle-income countries to achieve sustainable financing for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.

    December 15, 2015
    General
    Lancet
  • Transmitted drug resistance mutations (TDRM) have been a constant threat to treatment efficacy... We evaluated TDRM in 217 antiretroviral therapy-naive patients in the São Paulo metropolitan area, collected from 2012 to 2014... Overall, 23.5 percent of the cases had one or more DRM identified. TDRM prevalence differed significantly among some sites. These trends deserve continuous and systematic surveillance, especially with the new policies of treatment as prevention being implemented in the country.

    December 15, 2015
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
  • BMS-986001 had similar efficacy to that of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and was associated with a smaller decrease in bone mineral density; however, greater resistance and gains in both peripheral and central fat accumulation were recorded for the investigational drug. Bristol-Myers Squibb has discontinued its involvement in the development of BMS-986001, and future decisions on development will be made by Oncolys BioPharma.

    December 11, 2015
    Lancet
  • In the 30 year history of antiretroviral therapy, the greatest success has generally been conferred with triple combination therapy comprising two nucleoside or nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and a third agent from another class... All of them have been associated with various toxic effects that have limited their use and raised concerns about potential long-term negative consequences.

    December 11, 2015
    Lancet HIV
  • In Europe, sub-Saharan migrants are a key population for HIV infection... Hardships were frequent: more than 40 percent had lived a year or longer without a residence permit, and more than 20 percent without stable housing. Most of the migrants had non-stable and concurrent partnerships, more frequent among those who acquired HIV in France compared to reference group... Women, especially during the period without stable housing, appear especially vulnerable.

    November 30, 2015
    General
    AIDS

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